The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has already granted immigration status to around 33,000 foreign nationals in 2022. More specifically, the USCIS has allowed immigrating to the US to the thousands of semi-skilled and skilled workers who applied for the H-2B Visa program.
Every year, the USCIS allows a certain number of immigrant visas to the H-2B Visa category. You must petition for these visas before the visa cap is met. Bad news for all the hopeful H-2B Visa applicants who weren’t able to petition on time because the mid-year H-2B Visa Cap has already been met.
What Is the H-2B Visa Category?
The H-2B Visa category allows foreign workers in temporary, non-agricultural occupations to immigrate to the US-based on their work experience. The H-2B Visa is for both skilled and unskilled foreign workers. For US employers to obtain the H-2B Visa, they are required to attest to the Department of Labor that the wages offered to the foreign workers equals or exceeds the highest prevailing wage. That the wages also are applicable to the federal minimum wage, the state minimum wage or the local minimum wage.
What Is the H-2B Visa Cap?
As mentioned above, the USCIS issues a limited number of H-2B Visas every fiscal year. Every year, around 66,000 visas are allotted to the H-2B Visa category, with 33,000 visas for workers who start their employment in the first half of a fiscal year, that is between October 1- March 31. Any unused visas at the end of the first half of the fiscal year carry over to the second half of the fiscal year, that is between April 1 - September 30. Once this visa cap is met, the USCIS will not accept any H-2B Visa petitions except those who are exempt from this cap.